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Instructions regarding War Diaries and Intelligence Summaries are contained in F.S. Regs., Vol. 1. and the Staff Manual respectively Title pages will be prepared in manuscript.

Army Form C.2118
Unit: 4th Bn The Dorsetshire Regt.
Month and Year: December 1944 (Erase heading not required). Commanding Officer: Lt. Col. W.Q. Roberts
Place Date Hour Summary Reference
766648 1 0930 CO returned to Unit and resumed Command.
1 1130 Brig of 129 Bde visited Bn HQ.
1 1415 C.O. and I.O. visited all Coy Posns.
1   Slight shelling of TRIPSRATH during afternoon 1 killed. Patrol at night found Italian type minefield at 866684.
2   Very quiet night – no incidents.
2 0945 CO and IO visited all Coys.
2 1530 Patrol tasks and passwords sent to all Coys and supporting arms.
2 2155 O.C. 'C' Coy asked for Arty task on KONIGSHOF to help two men back from patrol.
2 2230 B Coy report 8 mortars landing in their area. Arty fire directed.
2 2325 D Coy report 20 shells fired into Coy Area – Arty and Hy Mortars fired retaliation task.
2 2330 Pnr Cpl reports that Spandaus and rifle fire were fired on patrol that had gone to KONIGSHOF area. Patrol returned less two men from 'C' Coy. 5 DCLI on our right informed of missing men.
3 0020 C Coy report medium enemy Arty fired into their area.
3 0915 Brig and L.O. visited Bn HQ.
3   Bn will be relieved tomorrow by 7 Hamps and will go into Bde Reserve in GEILENKIRCHEN Area.
3 1100 13/18 Hussars (Tanks in Sp) relieved by 147 RAC equipped with Churchills and two tps moved into Bn Area.
3   Slight enemy shelling due probably to noise of tks.
3 1500 CO and Coy Comds of 7 Hamps visited Bn Posns.
3 2040 1 PW from 15 Pz Gr Div brought to Bn HQ. He had deserted into 'B' Coy lines.
3 2200 B Coy patrol that went to area 867686 for purpose of mine locating report that nothing found and no incidents.
4 0830 Coy and Pl Reps recced new area under Comd 2 i/c.
4 0950 Brig and Bde Major visited Bn HQ.
4 1115 Traces of area handed over to rep of 7 Hamps.
4 1330 Reinforcements arrived from 33 RHU - 1 Offr and 63 ORs.
4 1400 First Coy - A Coy - marched out on being relieved.
4 1430 Bn HQ personnel moved out to new area. Fwd Coys relieved at various intervals during the evening and Comd passed to 7 Hamps approx 2315 hrs.
863644 5   Bn concentrated in area GEILENKIRCHEN with Bn HQ at 863644.
5 0915 CO and 2 i/c went to Bde conference.
5 1100 Coy and Pl Reps went on recce of Bn Conc Area 7259.
6 0830 Recce Party again left to recce billets for Bn in new area.
6 1200 Brig visited Bn HQ.
6 1830 Conference at Bn HQ for all Coy Comds.
7 0900 Guides for new area started off.
7 1000 HQ Coy moved off to new area and by 1600 hrs Bn was complete in new location with HQ at School 732598. Most personnel were billeted in civ houses.
7   C.O. returned from 48 hrs leave in BRUSSELS and reassumed Comd.
723598 8   Bath, cinema and ENSA shows throughout the day for Bn personnel.
8 1430 CO and IO went on vsit to CO of Services Bn in RISHDEN area.
8 1800 COs conference for all Coy Comds on future operations.
9 1000 Brig and Bde IO visited Bn HQ and latter brought new air photos for distribution.
9 1100 IO and OC 'A' Coy went on recce in HATTERATH area 8467.
10 0900 Bn Church Service held in Church at 728603.
10 1000 CO attended Div O Gp.
10 1600 Brig and Bde IO visited Bn HQ accompanied by Dutch Interpreter att to Bde.
10 1800 COs conference for all Coy Comds.
11 1000 Brig and LO visited Bn HQ.
11 1415 CO and IO went to Bde HQ for orders.
11 1730 COs conference for all Coy Comds.
12 1030 Brig visited Bn HQ.
12   Maps aerial photographs and traces prepared for forthcoming ops.
12 1730 COs conference for all Coy Comds. Tomorrow’s programme of trg with tks was discussed.
13 0900 Practice by all rifle Coys with one Tp of B Sqn 147 RAC in Area 766598. Passing through a gap made by flailing Tks was the practice and each Coy went through separately in the order of A. C. B. D.
13 1100 Bde I.O. visited Bn HQ with further aerial photographs. Preparation begun on sand model for forthcoming attack.
14   Sand table modelling continued.
14   F.S. Sec contacted ref suspicious civs in our area.
14 1400 CO and IO went on recce in HATTERATH area.
14 2205 Air Raid 'Alert' sounded. No incidents.
15 0900 Rifle Coys again practising with tks in area 766598.
15 1730 COs conference for all Coy Comds.
16 0630 Air Raid Alert sounded. No incidents.
16 1030 Brig and Bde I.O. visited Bn HQ. All aerial photographs recently issued to be returned to Bde HQ by 1200 hrs tomorrow.
17   Three Air Raid Alerts sounded during the night. Enemy planes overhead and some bombs dropped but not in Bn Area.
17 1530 Advance and recce parties moved to area TILBURG.
17   Enemy air activity during the night. 1 plane shot down in Bn Area 718512.
18   Advance Party at TILBURG moved to area ORESHOT 3126 and commenced work on recceing area.
18 1800 COs conference for all Coy Comds. Forthcoming move and trg in new area discussed.
19 0500 Second Adv Party left for area HASSELT 3161.
19 0730 C.O. left Bn Major R. Gill assumed Comd.
19 0800 Bn left for new location.
19 1815 Conference for all Coy Comds at Bn HQ 313619.
313619 20 0930 Bn at 1 hour’s notice to move due to threat of enemy on American sector.
20 1400 CO re-assumed Comd of the Bn.
20 1600 Bn moved to fresh billets in HASSELT Bn HQ at 307622.
20 1800 COs conference for all Coy Comds.
307622 21 0930 C.O. and I.O. visited Coys and recced trg Areas.
21 1500 Adv Party from ORESHOT area returned to the Bn.
22   Normal trg carried out by all Coys.
22 1630 2 PWs brought in by C Coy. They had escaped from PW convoy.
22 1515 Skeleton Recce Party moved off to area WAREMME 2536 with a view for possible billets.
22 1715 Adv Party returned to Bn – no accn available.
22 2015 CO with Coy Reps held ballot for 7 days leave to England in the New Year.
22 2330 Warning Order received from Bde that Recce Party would leave Bn Area tomorrow by 0830 hrs for area WAREMME 2536. Bn to be at readiness to move by 1200 hrs.
23 0830 Adv party moved off and Bn spent morning in packing kit in readiness to move.
23 1230 Bn moved off to new area and arrived at 1500 hrs. Bn HQ at 237337.
24 0900 CO, IO and Car Pl Comd on Bde O Gp.
24 1100 COs conference for all Coy Comds.
24 1730 Brig visited Bn HQ.
25 0830 CO and IO on recce area South of HUY.
25 1400 CO Coy Comds and IO on recce South of HUY.
26 1400 O.C. 233 A/Tk Bty visited Bn HQ to tie up A/Tk lay out.
27 0600 Adv Party left for new area.
27 1230 Bn left for new area.
27 1630 Bn arrived at GREAT HAASDAL at 6456.
28 0900 Brig visited Bn HQ.
28   C.O. went on recce for trg areas.
28 1500 C.O. attended Bde Conference.
28 1800 COs conference for all Coy Comds.
29 0900 CO, 2 i/c and I.O. went to Bde HQ for orders and from there to recce area near SITTARD 6968 where Bn will dig a defensive posn against possible enemy threat from the North.
29 1500 CO, 2 i/c and I.O. returned to Bn HQ.
29 1800 COs conference for Coy Comds and specialist Pl Comds. Orders are that recce parties will leave for area 6967 in the morning followed by remainder of the Bn who will dig defensive posns and return to present location at nightfall.
30 0830 Recce Parties left under 2 i/c for digging Area.
30 0900 C.O. and I.O. left to recce second area where Bn will prepare defensive posn in ALSDORF area 8854.
30 1200 Remainder of Bn left present location for SITTARD Area and digging commenced aprox 1300 hrs.
30 1530 CO inspected Coys Prepared posns and tps returned to Unit area by 1800 hrs.
30 2100 COs conference for Coy Comds an specialist Pl Comds. Orders are that recce parties will leave for area 8854 followed by the remainder of the Bn to dig defensive posns and return to present location by nightfall.
31 0900 Recce parties left under C.O. for digging area. Rest of the Bn left for ALSDORF area and digging commenced approx 1330 hrs.
31 1645 Digging practically completed and tps returned to Unit Area by 1830 hrs.
31 1900 Detailed trace of prepared posns sent to Bde.

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Source: Joris Nieuwint, The Battlefield Explorer, transcribing: Hans Houterman.

Disclaimer: This War Diary is based on its original, but typos might be corrected. Locations are calculated, so might not be in the correct place. For historical research, always check the originals.